Skip to content
Työhakemus ja CV

Job application and CV

How to apply for a job in Finland? What should you mention in the job application and CV? How to prepare for a job interview? This page describes the job search process in Finland.

Recognising your competence

In seeking employment, it is useful to recognise your competence. Go over your education and work experience and think about what skills they have taught you. What professional skills do you have? What are your strengths? Also think about the skills and knowledge you have gained through hobbies, associations, voluntary work or other experiences.

Recognition of foreign diplomas and degrees

Job hunting is easier if you know how a degree or diploma gained abroad corresponds to a Finnish one. In some sectors, you may need a decision of recognition to be able to work in Finland. Recognition of a degree is subject to a charge.

Learn more on the InfoFinland page Foreign diploma or degree in Finland.

Job advertisement

Read the job advertisement carefully and assess whether you have the kind of skills and work experience that the advertisement seeks.

The job advertisement may also contain important information about the job, probationary period, remote work opportunities and employee benefits.

Job advertisements often mention whom to call if you have questions. Call and ask about the job before submitting an application. This might help keep you on the employer’s mind.

Job application

A job application is a reply to the job advertisement. Respond to the wishes and requirements mentioned in the job advertisement. Emphasise the things that are important for the position. Describe why you want the job and why they should hire you. The employer is interested in your training and skills, that is, your qualifications or degrees and your work history. It is good if you have certificates of these. Usually, job applications are written in the language in which the job advertisement was published.

A job application is usually a little under a page long. Ask someone to read and check your application.

Write a new application and update your CV every time you apply for a new job. You can type the application into an email message or add it as an email attachment with your CV. Always add attachments in the PDF format. You can often send your application and CV through the employer’s website. Sometimes the job application can be a video, a portfolio or, for example, a web page.

Submit your job application by the due date. If the job advertisement has a phone number, you can call the employer to check that they received your application.

If the organisation is interested in you, they will contact you. The employer may ask you to a job interview, for example. In a job interview, the employer assesses whether you are suitable for the job.

Desired salary

You often have to add a desired salary to applications. The desired salary must not be too high but not too low either. Trade unions can provide more information on the wage or salary levels in different fields. Please note that the employer cannot pay you less than what is stated in the applicable collective agreement for the sector.

Read more on the wage and salary levels in Finland on the InfoFinland page Pay and working hours.

Read more about prices and other costs of living in Finland on the InfoFinland page Cost of living in Finland.

Link redirects to another

Compare salaries

Link redirects to another websiteThe Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK

Information on trade unions in different sectors

Open job application

You can contact an interesting employer directly. You can send an open job application or call the employer even if they are not advertising vacancies at the time. In the open job application, describe your skills and the kinds of tasks you would be interested in doing. Add a curriculum vitae, or CV, to your application.

If the employer does not have a job available at that time, you can ask them to save the application for later. In Finland, these are called “hidden jobs.”

Videos in job search

Video applications, video CVs and introductory videos have become more common in job search in Finland. A video may help you stand out from other candidates. Sometimes, an employer may also request a video application from the job applicant.

You can shoot the video using, for example, a camcorder, phone or computer. The appropriate length for the video is approximately 1–3 minutes. You can upload it to a video service, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Send a link to the employer.

Curriculum vitae or CV

A curriculum vitae or CV includes your competence, work experience and education in a clear and compact format. Customise your CV for each job. Highlight the skills that are needed in the job. Think of what the employer should know about your skills and competence.

There are different CV models. In a conventional CV, you can list your competence chronologically. In a skills-based CV, you can group your skills into different competence areas. The CV can also be a video, portfolio or web page. Explore different CV models and build a CV that suits you.

A CV is usually 1–2 pages long. Remember to update and customise your CV for each new application. Only list the work experience that is relevant for the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for an expert position, mention the jobs where you learned skills relevant for the position.

Your CV should list your work experience and education in chronological order with the most recent experience first.

You can also describe any volunteer work you have done in the CV. It gives a positive impression of you and your interests as an active person.

If you have a LinkedIn profile, add it to your CV.

What should a CV include?

  • Name and contact information – Address, email address, telephone number.
  • Work experience – List your previous jobs, starting with the most recent one. Also specify the duration of the employment relationship. Briefly describe your tasks and the skills you acquired on the job.
  • Education – List your degrees and qualifications chronologically, starting with the most recent one. Include the name of the degree, study programme and educational institution, as well as the time of graduation.
  • Courses – List the Finnish language courses and other courses that you have completed under a separate heading.
  • Other competence – Language skills, IT skills and completed passports and cards, such as a hygiene passport.
  • Publications and other skills demonstrations – If you want, you can list your publications or demonstrations of skill.
  • Hobbies, positions of trust – You can also highlight your interests.
  • References – You can add the names of people who have agreed to recommend you for the job. Add the contact information of the references. Remember to ask the references for permission. The interviewer cannot contact the references without your consent.

At the beginning of the CV, you can add a summary or a profile describing your background and core competence with a few sentences. You can describe the goals of your job search or your special skills. You can also include a photograph of yourself. However, bear in mind what is stated in the job advertisement. Sometimes recruitment can be anonymous, in which case the employer wants applications without a picture or other information that could be used to profile your other personal data.

Skills-based CV

A skills-based CV highlights your knowledge, skills and experience.

Select a few competence areas and describe your related experiences, skills and accomplishments under the headings. You can also add skills you have acquired, for example, in voluntary work, hobbies and studies. In addition to this, you can list your work experience and education chronologically.

Europass CV

The Europass CV is a pan-European CV. You can compile and store your CV on the Europass electronic platform. You can also create an electronic portfolio of your skills for the service. The service is free of charge and intended for everyone.

Portfolios in job search

A portfolio is a collection of your work or achievements. Portfolios are often used especially in the creative fields. A portfolio can be a folder, a briefcase, a sample project, a plan, a drawing or a collection of photos. In the portfolio, you can also describe projects you have worked on. 

A portfolio can contain

  • certificates, recommendations and evaluations,
  • samples of various work assignments, such as brochures, posters, programmes or articles, or
  • anything that helps you demonstrate your skills to the employer.

You can send the portfolio to the employer or bring it with you to a job interview and present it there. If your portfolio can be found online, remember to include a link to it in your job application.


There is usually no need to send certificates of employment to the employer in advance, but it is good idea to bring them to the job interview in case the employer wants to see them.

Job interview

Read about the employer beforehand, for example on their website. Think of how to highlight your competence and suitability for the task. Learn to describe your background and professional competence in a few sentences.

Think in advance about questions that the employer might ask you. Practise answering common job interview questions, such as explaining your strengths and weaknesses as an employee. The employer may not ask you about your family, what religion you practise or whether you are politically active.

Show the employer that you have familiarised yourself with the company and the position in advance and that you are genuinely interested in this particular job. You should also think about what you want to ask the employer.

Bring your application letter, CV, certificates of employment, diploma and any portfolios you may have to the interview. The employer may ask to see them. Arrive at the interview in good time.

Link redirects to another websiteJob Market Finland

Tips for job hunting